Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Celebrating Chinese New Year 2019: Luck, Prosperity and Faith

Lion and Dragon Dance 
Chinese new year has been part of the Philippine culture for centuries and is celebrated by Filipinos from all walks of life, especially of Chinese descent, we call Tsinoy or Intsik.

In Binondo, a district in Manila, a vibrant and colorful celebration happens every Chinese New year to welcome prosperity and abundance in businesses established by the Tsinoys, with a majority of the community coming from Fujian and Guangdong provinces in China.

Grand Parade at Ongpin St. in Binondo
Centuries has passed. They have endured wars and conflicts in their little community, Chinatown in Binondo, and communities established in other places in the Philippine archipelago. But today, their businesses thrive in Binondo and have conquered almost all commerce and industries, becoming business leaders.

Our Philippine culture is greatly influenced by the Tsinoys, as evidenced by the food we serve during holidays, beliefs in luck through Chinese astrology or horoscope, Chinese martial arts, Chinese feng shui, Chinese arts, and architectural designs and structures. Today, all of these influences are alive in Binondo, particularly in the famous street of Ongpin - - the center of the Chinese New year celebration in the country.

Fruits and lucky charms 
Even in politics and governance, Tsinoys have been elected to serve the country. Beyond their business interests, they have proven to be an effective public servant, becoming truly Filipino by heart. From their ancestors as Chinese immigrants to the Philippines, they now have a massive influence in Philippine politics, and Filipinos patronize their brand of leadership.

My journey in Binondo started back in 2013. Celebrating the Chinese New Year 2013: A New Beginning was a meaningful and joyful experience. That was the beginning of a Chinese-Filipino culture immersion for a greater understanding of the country's deeply-rooted Chinese culture and influence.

Five years after, Celebrating Chinese New Year 2018: Prosperity and Abundance was a celebration of success and thanksgiving for a greater year that has passed and a greater optimism for the current year. That's the essence; becoming better and bolder every year.

According to Chinese culture, this year of the Pig brings wealth and prosperity through the beliefs and symbols one must possess. This has been adopted by most Filipinos, and every year we strive to become a better version of ourselves and free ourselves from obsolete beliefs. Every new year is a renewal and a vow through the lists of resolutions. We may believe in luck, but our faith and personal devotion to a higher source also bring success and prosperity in life.

May our dreams and hopes become higher and brighter as we celebrate a new year with optimism and grace this year and beyond.

© 2019 Del Cusay